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The whole of Year 8 at St Gregory’s High School worked with newspaper journalist Brian Flynn. He shared with them report-writing techniques which he employs to describe to readers dramatic events he experiences first hand.

He asked students to consider how the five senses can be used to add ‘colour’ to a piece of writing. He then asked them to imaginatively describe scenes depicted in selected National Gallery paintings, including Uccello's 'Battle of San Romano', in a newspaper report. View Brian's masterclasses.

“It was tremendously rewarding being able to share my experience of how to write descriptively with secondary school students, and seeing the results as they experimented with the same tricks of the trade that I have picked up and applied as a journalist for many years.

The students’ willingness to have a go, as well as the skill and creativity they showed in comparing images and ideas contained in the paintings with their own experiences, constantly surprised and excited me. It was inspiring to see how quickly they were able to grasp new writing skills and how willing they were to share the results with me and with each other.

Using some of the Gallery's more dramatic paintings as starting points was key in stirring their imaginations and sparking ideas they could transfer to the page. The teenagers clearly enjoyed getting involved with such a novel and adventurous approach to descriptive writing. They got stuck in enthusiastically, and I think the results show how much they benefited.”  -  Brian Flynn
See student responses.
Image of newspapers.
  Brian introduces his work
Image of a Brian Flynn Masterclass.Click here for Brian Flynn's Masterclasses.
Image of students.Click here for Student Responses.
Image of 'The Battle of San Romano' by Paolo Uccello, probably about 1438-40.Click here for About the Painting.
Other links:
More about Brian Flynn